Press release

Local PhD student receives prestigious engineering scholarship worth £10,000

11 August 2014

A Royal College of Surgeons student, originally from Galway, has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from one of the world’s largest professional bodies for engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Alan Ryan, 25, has been awarded one of the IET’s largest scholarships – the 2014 Postgraduate Scholarship for an Outstanding Researcher, worth £10,000. Alan was recognised for his work in tissue engineering, where he has developed a novel artificial blood vessel from natural polymer biomaterial.

Currently, Alan is undertaking a PhD at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland where his research focuses on utilising the natural polymers, collagen and elastin, as a basis for growing blood vessels in the lab using tissue engineering techniques. This scholarship will allow Alan the opportunity to expand his research objectives beyond the current remit through enabling international research visits to collaborators.

Alan said: “I am absolutely delighted to be awarded this scholarship as it will allow me the opportunity to conduct a research visit to one of our collaborators and will help expand my research objectives beyond the current remit.

“Upon completion of my PhD, I hope to undertake postdoctoral research in a world class institute so that I may remain at the forefront of this exciting field and further develop my own research niche. My career objectives are to combine my passion for engineering, science, technology, and teaching, with aspirations to become a principle investigator & university lecturer in the future.”

Trevor Grimshaw, Chair of the IET Scholarships Committee, said: “Every year we receive a very high calibre of applications, and this year has been no exception. The scholarship recipients have demonstrated outstanding talent as well as real engineering potential, and I look forward to seeing the results of their inspirational work.”

The IET’s Postgraduate Scholarship for an Outstanding Researcher is given annually to an accomplished PhD researcher working on a project that aims to enhance people’s lives through advancing knowledge in science, engineering and technology.

In 2013, the IET provided over £1,000,000 in awards, prizes and scholarships to celebrate excellence, innovation and encouragement of the next generation of engineers and technicians. The IET will maintain this investment in 2014 with its portfolio of awards, which includes Diamond Jubilee scholarships, Apprentice and Technician awards, scholarships in India, the Present around the World competition and the IET A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize.

For more information about IET Awards, please visit http://www.theiet.org/awards.

Media enquiries to:

Katie Stanton
Communications Executive

Tel: +44(0)1438 765608
Mob: +44(0)7738 713867
Email: kstanton@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
  • The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most multi-disciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
  • For more information, visit www.theiet.org
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